About Jennie


Website: http://www.ielanguages.com
Jennie has written 695 articles so far, you can find them below.


Frustration & Creation; or Why I Spend Hours Working on my Website

It began with foreign languages. Actually it began with the movie While You Were Sleeping that I saw when I was 14 years old. Sandra Bullock’s character wanted to visit Italy so badly that it made me want to learn Italian. And then I started high school and began learning French. A year later and […]

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Olympics Vocabulary in French

I’ve never been a big fan of the Olympics or of watching sports on TV, but I have caught a few events on French TV this week. If nothing else, it helps with learning sports vocabulary in French. [And why did I never notice before that the French use Pékin whereas we use Beijing? ] […]

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Foreign Service Institute French Basic Course

If you haven’t already checked out (and/or downloaded) the free Foreign Service Institute language courses at fsi-language-courses.com, you need to go there right now. The FSI courses were designed by the Department of State, mostly in the 1960’s, to teach languages to employees being sent overseas. They’re actually quite comprehensive, if a bit boring with […]

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Vieille Ville of Annecy

So not a lot has been happening lately, mostly because France basically shuts down for the month of August and I’m not working which means no income and no fun. The big excitement for me last week was going to the eye doctor and ordering new contacts. You wish you had my life, right?  But […]

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Où vit-on le mieux ? Le Palmarès 2008 des Départements

I found a copy of L’Express from the end of June lying around the apartment a few days ago, and noticed it was the rankings of the best and worst départements in mainland France. The winner overall is Haute-Garonne (Toulouse) in the Midi-Pyrénées, followed by 2. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau) in Aquitaine, 3. Ille-et-Vilaine (Rennes) in Bretagne, […]

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Definition of City.

My family in Michigan drove to the UP this weekend for vacation. Flint to Houghton is about nine hours, so they stopped in Newberry on the way. I couldn’t remember where it was, so I looked it up on Google Maps and found this picture of the downtown area: For most of my life, this […]

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Dear Auchan, you are a jerk and I hate you.

Last month, I got all excited when my local Auchan started remodeling and expanding their already big store. Wider aisles, they promised. More stuff that you can’t afford to buy, they said. And look! Fifty feet of space of between the aisles and checkout lanes instead of just five! No more shoving yourself and your […]

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All in a Day’s Work

Instead of going to the Fête du Lac yesterday in Annecy where I knew there would be thousands of people, I decided to stay home and work on my IE Languages website. I spent all day redesigning the layout (for about the 17th time since I created the site), and I think I’m happy with […]

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Not Goodbye; See You Later

I met Lucy on the train from Grenoble to Annecy in September 2006. Grenoble’s Assistant Orientation was finally over and we were all heading to our respective towns to get settled and start work. I had arrived in France only one day prior to the orientation with no place to live, very little contact with […]

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CAPES d’Anglais 2009

David has decided to prepare for the CAPES d’anglais! Normally, in order to become an English teacher for l’Education Nationale in France, students do a Licence in English for 3 years and then go to an IUFM (teacher training college) where they prepare for the CAPES for a year and then do their student teaching […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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